Conference Call: Diversity Related Panels at SXSW

South by Southwest (SXSW) kicks off next week in Austin, TX starting on March 11.  The annual conference has three parts:  the interactive festival which focuses on technology and design, the music festival, and the film festival.  Since the SXSW organizers have noted the importance of diversity, efforts have been made to select diverse panels and speakers.  Here are seven interactive panels and one film panel that explore various types of diversity.

Diversity in the Digital Age

Date and Time: Saturday, March 12 at 9:30 AM
Presenter: Anne Hunter
Snippet: “With the plethora of niche sites it’s hard to deny that the Internet has increased the amount of social, political and personal groups one can join. But is this cross sharing really creating diversity? In this session, Anne Hunter, VP, Advertising Effectiveness, comScore, will provide a comprehensive understanding of how the digital age has affected diversity.”

The Elevation of Black Women in New Media

Date and Time: Saturday, March 12 at 11:00 AM
Presenters: Angela Benton, Deanna Sutton, Kathryn Finney
Snippet: “The “Elevation of Black Women in New Media” panel will consist of 4-5 successful web entrepreneurs coming together to help new media websites and/or blogs targeted to women of color help take their blog/website to the next level.”

Sausagefest: Getting More Women Into New Media & Tech

Date and Time: Saturday, March 12 at 12:30 AM
Presenter: Alexia Tsotsis
Snippet: “How can we work together as an industry to encourage the kind of diversity that will free up the very best of our collective talent to rise to the top? Women are great. Men are great. But the ratio in this industry – not great. This panel will address that, and how to change it.”

No. Great Minds Do Not Think Alike

Date and Time: Saturday, March 12 at 3:45 PM
Presenter: Joe Gerstandt
Snippet: “Where do good ideas come from? Diversity. There is a growing body of evidence showing that cognitive diversity can play a powerful role in increasing the ideation and innovation capacity of a group or community.”

100% Viable, 1% Visible – Minority New Media Entrepreneurs

Date and Time: Saturday, March 12 at 4:30 PM
Presenter: Kiratiana Freelon
Snippet: “While minorities (Latinos and African-Americans) are consumers and producers of the content on new media platforms, why aren’t they creating internet companies as often?”

How to Ensure a Diverse Tech Event

Date and Time: Saturday, March 12 at 5:00 PM
Presenter: Erica Mauter
Snippet: “We’ll explore what event organizers like O’Reilly and SXSW are doing to encourage new people to attend. We’ll explore the barriers individuals face as well as opportunities for contribution within the community.”

Minority Report: Social Media for Decreasing Health Disparities

Date and Time: Sunday, March 13 at 11:00 AM
Presenters: Aimee Roundtree, Greg Beets, Jen McClure, Maryland Grier, Wenying Sylvia Chou
Snippet: “Since social connections play a vital role in patient awareness and maintenance of health, social media seems ripe for helping alleviate some of the health disparity, particularly given its pervasiveness in communities of color. This session will cover current uses of social media toward this end, discuss the problems and potential of these applications, and share opportunities and incentive programs for developers.”

Preparing the Next Generation of Diverse Filmmakers

Date and Time: Tuesday, March 15 at 3:30 PM
Presenters: Vicente Williams, Rebecca Yee, Rashad Robinson, Rhianon Gutierrez, Dagoberto Patlan
Snippet: “If you’re a minority, person with disability, LGBT or woman, entering the entertainment industry can be a daunting task. In this panel we’ll follow the career track of a fictitious diverse entertainment professional from high school through to their golden years.”

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